Telluride is defined by its natural environment, and is a model of a vibrant and healthy community. Recognizing this, Telluride Ski Resort invited Dr. Brian Nattrass and Mary Altomare to work with their teams to develop a road map towards sustainability. Nattrass and Altomare have also successfully worked with Starbucks and Nike to help develop their long term sustainability plans.

As a result of the work with Nattrass and Altomare, Telluride has evolved its efforts to cover a broad range of conservation initiatives and educational endeavors, including watershed protection, water and energy conservation, waste reduction and recycling and air quality.

Here is a summary of our efforts over the past decade:


  • Snow fence installations around the mountain naturally collected snow and protected wind-exposed areas
  • Integrating GIS technology as a tool in morning meetings, mission assignments, and daily communication has resulted in less run time on pumps, thus reducing our snowmaking needs and power consumption
  • Fleet efficiencies lighter machines, increased capacity, and more efficient engines utilizing monitoring and governing
  • using new lighter trucks and UTVS has caused a reduction in fuel and oil usages, as well as overall lower running costs by decreasing miles driven (due to the increasing capacity of work trucks)
  • Monitoring of engines using new engine-tuning equipment is being utilized to ensure all machinery is operating in its most efficient range
  • Groomers are operating Tier 4 machines that permit operation at 1350 RPMs rather than 1550 RPMs
  • Landscapers have switched to electric trimmers and are exploring alternatives to herbicides
  • A Hydro-Mulcher was purchased to decrease topsoil erosion and increase green space
  • trail crews has purchased new more efficient chainsaws
  • reduce the amount of single-use containers, their departments are purchasing common use items (e.g., chainsaw bar oil and gas-mix, sunscreen, earplugs) in bulk
  • office, tool shed, and work shed have been fitted with motion-activated light switches and high-efficiency LED lights
  • Grooming department has provided insulated water bottles to the crew to decrease single-use containers
  • accounting department started going paperless a few years ago and has moved another one of their processes to a digital format
  • Forest Health projects around the mountain are used to reduce fuels for wildfire and improve forest resiliency and reused as fuel for on-mountain stoves and fireplaces


  • developing a companywide initiative to encourage every employee to participate in creating efficiencies and reduce waste


  • Reduced lift runtime at Oak Street Lift due to low ridership, resulting in 30% reduction in electrical at this lift
  • Food and Beverage is analyzing trash and recycling programs, we no longer have plastic straws


  • Installation of low-energy snow guns
  • Installation of new weather station for remote operations
  • Purchase and rehabilitated an existing building, Mountain View Apartments, for employee house close to work, decreasing commute to work distance. 30 units
  • Accounting moved into paperless processing saving approximately 24 tons of paper in 3 years.
  • TSG has engaged in spruce beetle mitigation for over 15 years with the guidance and aid of the USFS.


  • Installation of new boilers in the ski school and ticket sales building that are 95% efficient


  • Telluride Ski Resort implemented company-wide light retrofits, 60 W bulbs have been switched to 11 W
  • Replaced snowmaking guns and lines with more efficient technology
  • Replaced fiberglass trail signs with locally-made, handcrafted wood signs


  • Upgraded snowmobile and ATV fleet with 4-stroke model
  • De-rated snow cats


  • The Vehicle Maintenance department has replaced low MPG vehicles with more
  • fuel efficient vehicles to decrease gasoline usage
  • Snow cats have been equipped with idle sensors to control extended idle times
  • and conserve fuel.
  • Snow cats have been governed to set maximum RPMs during operation to limit
  • fuel consumption.
  • Snowmaking capital projects include improving efficiency of system by installing
  • new air/water lines and 75 new low energy snow guns.
  • New water distribution lines have been installed to allow lower mountain system to
  • operate on gravity vs. pumping to eliminate need for electric power to distribute
  • water.


  • Telluride continued lighting upgrades.


  • Started the lighting retrofit project in its Administration and Ski School buildings
  • Added 10 high efficiency snowmaking guns.

Have feedback or ideas? We would love to hear it.

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